Every girl competing in a pageant wants to hear her name called out as "the NEW Miss (fill in the blank)!" She yearns to have her moment in the spotlight... The dozen long stem roses in her arms, the winning sash draped across her body, the glittery crown placed atop her head... And then, potentially a career in the entertainment industry. But, we know that only one girl can win. For the rest of us, we stand in the wings on stage and applaud our new titleholder. However, winning (or not winning) has little to do with ultimately accomplishing the goals in your life. It's how you move forward after the pageant (with or without the title) that matters. While it may be a little easier going after your dreams with the title (especially a national one, like Miss USA) by helping to provide you representation (agent, manager, etc) and making invaluable contacts, but it is by no means impossible to still reach your goals. Take, for example, Halle Berry.
Halle Berry had aspirations of becoming an actress long before she competed at Miss USA. Representing her home state of Ohio in 1986, I am sure Halle was hoping to hear her name called out as "The New Miss USA!" as she stood with Christy Fichtner, Miss Texas... The final two! Earlier in the evening, during the interview portion, Halle said that she hoped to become an entertainer or to have something to do with the media. She knew what she wanted to be and she was hoping the title of Miss USA would open the doors that she needed in order to pursue her dreams of being in the entertainment industry. Even though Halle Berry finished first runner-up to Miss USA that year, she went on to become one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood, and in 2002, she won an Academy Award for Best Actress, becoming the first and only African-American woman to win an Oscar for a leading role!
Some girls enter a pageant just for the opportunity of being 'queen' for a year, and all the glamorous perks that come along with it. And that's ok. But for those who strive to win the title for all of the opportunities that follow... Don't give up on your dreams if the journey doesn't go exactly as you had planned. The phrase "where there's a will, there's a way" exists because it's true! Proclaim what you want out of life, make a plan to get there and then go make it happen!
And remember... Always shoot for greatness... That way, even if you don't succeed in your original goal, you'll eventually still achieve your ultimate goal through hard work, planning and perseverance!